Pentecostal pastor Jan-Aage Torp believes there there is an ongoing theological intifada against Israel. Today he has met with representatives of Norway Christian Council (NKR) and shared his concerns regarding the denunciation of Israel which is being expressed in certain Christian circles, writes Norge Idag.
Christmas peace is about to settle over Bethlehem....
No, the intifada and its consequences are ruling with raw and brutal force!
Sadly, the Israelis have been forced to erect a security fence that has drastically reduced the Palestine-Arabic suicide attacks on the population. Unfortunately the security fence has been necessary. I say unfortunately, because the fence has undoubtedly made life more difficult for the average Palestine-Arab. But as long as they elect political leaders that fight for/or legitimize the eradication of the state Israel, and that use/legitimize the grusome deeds of the suicide bombers, then Israel has no choice whatsoever.
Discussions on Israel and Palestine
I have just come back home from an interesting meeting, hosted by the new Norway Christian Council. I thought that this would be a "closed" meeting, so there would be a minimum of confidentiality in the discussions, but Norway Christian Council had invited journalists from Vårt Land and Korsets Seier to cover what proved to be an open meeting. The topic of the discussions was a discussions document from Norsk Teologisk Samtaleforum (NTSF: Norwegian Theological Discussions Forum) which is called "Israel og Palestina - En økumenisk utfordring" ("Israel and Palestine - An ecumenical challenge"). NTSF is a forum under NKR, but the document is a consensus document from NTSF only. The Pentecostal Movement is not a part of NTSF, but recently joined NKR. That´s the reason why NKR wanted a response from pentecostal pastor Trond Filberg, who is managing director for the Pentecostal Leadership Council. This was followed by a response from bishop and Israel expert Ole Christian Kvarme, and from Roar Fotland, dr.art, methodist and leader of NTSF.
We were approximately 25 i attendance representing much of Christendom in Norway. Trond Filberg conveyed a good response. I was proud of the young pentecostal brother who dared to speak clearly about the pentecostal love for Israel, and he also showed that we love muslims. Trond gave constructive feedback and cautious criticism of the document.
Bishop Kvarme emphasized particularly that we should show passion and mercy to both parties in the Israel-Palestine conflict. He said that the document lacked an acknowledgement of the Christian revival among Messianic Jews. There are around 130 such congregations in Israel, he said.
Roar Fotland was especially happy that NTSF was not being attacked by the pentecostal Trond Filberg, and that Trond had sought to give supplementary insights to the document, rather than attack it.
Here comes my response: It was nice to attend this meeting, and I appreciated getting a nice embrace from the catholic nun. But in this environment we need more than hugs and nice words. It is all about God´s Word in our times. It is about God´s chosen people, the Jews.
I was allowed to give a response during the debate, and I asked an open question that the bishop opposed. I asked if the "discussions document" could be perceived as part of "the theological intifada" that is being fought against Israel.
The bishop reprimanded me publicly for having used such an expression when the Vårt Land journalist was in attendance.
The background for my question is that in 2005 I was alerted by the outstanding theological researcher from Germany, Petra Heldt, who leads the research institute at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, to the fact that even Norwegian Church leaders, among them bishop Kvarme, are taking part in a conscious "theological intifada" aimed at weakening the support for the conviction that the Jews are God´s chosen people. Perhaps this is the reason why the bishop scolded me so passionately....
By the term "theological intifada" I am referring to replacement theology that is clothed in new language.
I was challenged by a key ecumenical leader at the meeting to apologize publicly for having used the term "theological intifada". Naturally, I had to refuse his strong request. After all, we are not just playing a word game. In my opinon, and in the opinion of others too, this is about a series of serious theological attacks against the Jews as God´s chosen people.... :-(
Disappointed over the document
I am disappointed over the discussions document "Israel og Palestina - En økumenisk utfordring". Many nice things are written, and the working group consists of able and wellmeaning people. But there is a clear Palestine-Arabic slant in the document. When referrence is made to the security fence ("the Wall"), it is done negatively. There is absolutely no enthusiasm for the Jews as God´s chosen people.
When the Pentecostal Movement now have joined NKR, I sincerely hope that there will be more faith, passion, and enthusiam in this council. Even though some of us use an expression such as "theological intifada"....